Davis, Jimmie, 1899-2000
"JAMES H. DAVIS, Louisiana's forty-eighth governor and fifty-second governor, was born in Beech Springs, Louisiana on September 11, 1899. His education was attained at Louisiana College, where he graduated in 1924, and at Louisiana State University, where he earned a masters degree in 1927. Davis had a successful music career and recorded the hit song You Are My Sunshine. He entered public service in 1938, serving as a member of the Shreveport Public Safety Commission. Four years later he served as a commissioner for the North Louisiana District Public Service Commission. Davis won the 1994 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on April 18, 1944. He was sworn into office on May 9, 1944. During his first tenure, a state retirement system was initiated, a highway development program was authorized, the state's industry profited during World War II, public improvement funding was increased, and a substantial surplus was left in the state treasury. After completing his term, Davis left office on May 11, 1948, and returned to his music career. In 1959, he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was reelected to a second term on April 19, 1960. During his second administration, a new governor's mansion was built, as well as the Sunshine Bridge and the Toledo Bend Reservoir. Also, teachers salaries were raised, highway construction was advanced, and the state's mental health program was modernized. Davis's second term ended on May 12, 1964. After running unsuccessfully for reelection in 1971, Davis retired from politics. Governor James H. Davis died at the age of 101, on November 5, 2000. He was buried at the Davis Cemetery in Jackson Parish, Louisiana."--National Governors Association Web page.
Archival Collections and Reference Resources
- Southern school news (University of Georgia Libraries)
- WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection (Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection)
- WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Orleans Parish School Board president Lloyd Rittiner speaking to a reporter about attempts to avoid compliance with court-ordered school desegregation in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1960 August (moving images)
- WSB-TV newsfilm clip of white demonstrators protesting court-ordered school desegregation; city and state officials urging parents to discourage their children from demonstrating; people injured by the demonstrating mob in the hospital; and debates by state legislators, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1960 November 16 (moving images)